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Build Flutter/Dart Apps with Rust

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

Flutter app with rust

But first...

What is Rust?

Rust has been the developer's most loved language for years, according to the Stack Overflow Survey. It is also employed by lots of big tech companies, including Microsoft, Facebook (Now Meta), and Dropbox. So why is it so popular amongst developers and big tech companies?

Rust is a low-level programming language that’s focused on performance and security. It is fast and memory-efficient, with no runtime or garbage collector, which makes it a great solution for embedded and bare-metal development.

It can solve problems that the other languages have been struggling with, such as memory error, and also easily integrate with other languages.

What are the benefits of using Rust?

1. Memory Safety

Memory safety is always the most crucial issue for a network system to perform properly.

This is the main reason why developers choose Rust for the web backend.

Rust is designed to be memory safe, which does not permit null pointers, dangling pointers, or data races. To avoid common errors with pointers, the Rust core library provides an option type for testing whether a pointer has a value of none. Rust’s compiler is also more strict than most of the other languages, guaranteeing memory safety is never an issue when it comes to production.

2. Performance

Rust is blazingly fast! Its code compiles native code across different platforms. It does not have any garbage collector and external runtime by design. Rust would insert the corresponding LLVM or assembly instructions to free the memory when its lifetime ends at compile-time, which improves performance at runtime sharply.

3. Good for web and backend development

Facebook uses Rust to rewrite its source control backend, which was written in Python before, simply because of the efficiency, security, and flexibility it brings. Rust provides numerous web frameworks for backend development. Its libraries, tools, and community support also help you to build, test, and run apps smoothly.

Integrated Rust with Flutter/Dart

Flutter is a framework written in Dart for building natively compiled apps across multiple platforms. Its primary supported language is Dart, a client-side programming language designed for building web and mobile apps mainly. With Flutter/Dart, developers can build beautiful UI and apps on multiple platforms with a single codebase.

As mentioned, Rust is a reliable, flexible, and efficient language for backend development and web development. Yet, it also struggles with UI/UX development, where Flutter/Dart really shines there.

So it might be a good idea to integrate Rust into Flutter/Dart!

Since Rust does not require a garbage collector, it is possible to utilize Rust projects as libraries for Flutter/Dart via a foreign-function interface (FFI). This enables you to replace some performance-critical code with Rust code and avoid all the memory safety issues that other programming languages could have.

If you are interested in learning how to integrate Rust and Flutter, check out to learn more.

Listen to this episode of the Flying High With Flutter podcast from us and the developers in the industry. Flutter Backend using Rust.

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